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C.J. Spiller unlikely to line up at WR for Buffalo Bills

The consternation about the lack of touches for running back C.J. Spiller is growing palpable for Buffalo Bills fans.

Wide receiver Robert Woods is already out for Sunday's contest against the New York Jets. Stevie Johnson, who missed practice again Friday, is looking doubtful to play as well. The receiver corps could be down to just four healthy players.

So what about Spiller getting some run at receiver?

"Put him at wide receiver?" coach Doug Marrone responded when asked on WGR-AM Friday morning. "Well I think in the backfield it's much easier to hand him the football than it is to throw him the football, especially vertically down the field. Intermediate throws I have no problem, (or) screens, intermediate routes, but it's really difficult to push that ball downfield to running backs at any position."

Chris Brown, lead writer for the Bills' official website, noted that Spiller lined up at wide receiver against the New York Giants back in 2011 and caught five passes for 39 yards.

Spiller had just 11 touches in last week's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers (eight carries, three receptions), a week after gouging the Kansas City Chiefs for 155 yards from scrimmage.

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The fourth-year pro is specifically struggling in the passing game, where he is averaging 4.5 yards per reception on just 19 catches. In 2012, he averaged 10.7 yards per catch on 43 receptions.

With the banged-up receiver corps, Marrone said he would use more multiple tight end sets. Spiller might be targeted more in the passing game this week, but it likely will be from the backfield, not splitting out wide.

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